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Slashdot Acquired by Andover.net

CmdrTaco posted about 15 years ago | from the I-swear-this-is-a-good-thing dept.

Slashdot.org 428

I'm sure a lot of you knew it was coming. The steady stream of emails asking "When is Slashdot gonna IPO" and messages from VCs pretty well proves that you guys knew it as well as I did. Well the cost and overhead of running Slashdot independently finally began to overwhelm us. After much deliberation and careful analysis, we're excited to announce that we've been acquired by Andover.net. Read more to learn what this means.

Why did you do this?

Slashdot keeps growing. The overhead and costs associated with running this beast has become astronomical. Hemos and I work marathon weeks, and there still isn't enough time to get everything done. There are always banner ads needing selling, stories needing posting, perl needing hacking, and readers with questions needing answering. Besides that, our single channel ISDN connection is awfully saturated, and the "Business" work of running this website is beginning to be nearly as much work as the "Website" part of the site.

We had 2 options: get cash from some investors and hire a staff, or or find a company that we felt understood what we wanted to accomplish here, and use their money to hire help.

Hiring our own staff would mean hiring suits and marketing people. We decided that simply being acquried would allow someone else to worry about the suits and marketroids- we would simply benefit from their existing business infrastructure, and we could concentrate on what we already know how to do: Run a website.

What do we intend to do? Well for starters we'll be able to pay several of the guys who have been volunteering their time for so long. Plus, we'll be able to hire people to help sell banner ads, and the administer the servers, and maybe to debug code. Basically, a support staff so that Hemos and I can simplify our lives, and Slashdot won't have to depend on us 24/7. And we have new things that we want to do on Slashdot, so offloading tasks from me will us to focus on other things that we want to do around here.

We'll start doing things like content mirroring. We'll have more servers, and hopefully soon servers will pop up on each coast. And we'll be able to have experts help pull it all together. The end result will be a faster, more stable Slashdot.

Why Andover?

We talked to several companies: Some that you've heard of, and some that you haven't. We were looking for a company that would guarantee us complete and total creative control, but provide us the financial resources necessary to expand Slashdot in the way we consider best "right". And whoever became involved, they had to be "Outside" the linux/open source world to a certain degree: we didn't want anyone to think that a company might buy us simply to gain an advantage in the story select.

Andover is good for that- they aren't a "Linux" company - they run Linux, and they read Slashdot, but they don't sell a distribution, or Linux boxes, or anything related to Linux . In fact, we've only mentioned them on Slashdot a couple of times in the past.

Best of all- they're smart guys. They understand what Slashdot is, and they respect that they can't change it without destroying what it is. So they are happy to guarantee (it's even in the contract!) that Hemos and I would retain full control of the site, while taking advantage of their business resources to take care of that icky part of running this monster. To guarantee that, I've also been appointed to the Andover.Net board. (I'm still not sure if I'm supposed to wear a tie)

What is Andover

A Media Company. An internet company. They run websites. Sorta like Earthweb or Internet.com. All of their existing sites are done essentially in-house. They have several sharp hacks over there and I'm looking forward to working with them. They also have top notch guys-with-ties, and a real keen grasp of where things are going in this business.

Conclusion

I couldn't be more excited about this. I finally will have the ability to expand Slashdot the way I want to. I'll have the ability to pay people that have been volunteering hundreds of hours of time to help. And I have complete control over Slashdot's future, without the financial burden that has been growing over the last year. This couldn't be better for Slashdot, and I hope I haven't offended anywone to bad. We fundamentally will not change anything, we'll just have a better infrastructure to do what we've always done.

The final cool part of this is that I get to say thanks to you guys. Most of what we're getting is a piece of Andover.Net. And after I pay off my student loans and Hemos pays off his credit cards, we want to make sizable donations to some causes that we think are important. This seems like the best way for us to give back to the community that made us successful.

  • The Free Software Foundation - How can we not give back to them for making so much cool stuff possible.
  • Debian - I love Debian. I just want to make sure that they keep going strong. Debian's success is critical to the future of Linux. Besides, I wanna make sure that my apt-get command gets the newest version of everything cool.
  • Project Gutenberg - Keeping books online and making them available to the world is important.
  • The Macatawa Area Community Network - They give free network access to our hometown. They were the original home of Slashdot- and they let us keep it there for several months even when we were saturating their T1 every afternoon.
  • Hope College - We both graduated and we want to set up a scholarship or something there. I want it to be for a "Hot Chick Going into CompSci" but we'll have to see if they'll let me do that...
  • Foresight Institute - So hemos is obsessed with nanotech. He wants to give them money in exchange for a campbell's soup can of nanites He's wierd, but hey.

We're happy about this, but I know not all of you will be. To those of you who think I'm wrong, I'm sorry. I really believe that this will allow me to make Slashdot into something even better then it is today, without sacrificing what it already is. Its been a crazy ride so far, and now its only going to get crazier.

If you want to contact jeff or I, you can email malda@slashdot.org or hemos@slashdot.org. We'll try to respond, but I suspect we're going to get flooded, so be patient.

Update: 06/29 02:12 by CT : Just FWIW, this has no effect on the Slash source code release. It will still be released whenever I have time to work on it. In fact, hopefully now since I'll have some help around here with the sysadmin stuff, I'll be able to focus on it some more...

cancel ×

428 comments

Congrats (1)

flanker (12275) | about 15 years ago | (#1827090)

Good stuff Rob!

Business is hard; good call. (1)

backtick (2376) | about 15 years ago | (#1827093)

Rob, I think it's great. You started all this, and it's your baby. I'd say 'our baby' since the community does make slashdot what it is, but like the linux kernel, we need a point of control.

I'm glad you were willing to take the jump!

Backtick

So it finally happened... (3)

Dr Drew (15165) | about 15 years ago | (#1827095)

OK, be honest...how many of you just looked to see where you could buy stock in Andover?

Congratulations (1)

lar3ry (10905) | about 15 years ago | (#1827099)

If this means more reliability for Slashdot, then this is good news.

I just hope this place doesn't lose its focus... nice hacker places on the Internet are few and far between.

When IMDB was acquired by Amazon last year, it precipitated a change in look (arguably better), but the service remained the same, which is really what people using the service really want to see.

Congratulations!
--

Women in Computer Science (2)

mhm23x3 (30474) | about 15 years ago | (#1827102)

Rob,

A Women (aka Hot Chicks) in Computer Science fund is a very cool idea. We have a WICS program at our university. Unfortunately, it consists of mostly men (seriously!).

Congratulations (1)

thespian (34105) | about 15 years ago | (#1827105)

You guys have created a great site. I look forward to an even better /.

congrats (1)

geon (7807) | about 15 years ago | (#1827107)

Congratulations. It seems like a good decision, and good luck

Sounds like a Win-Win (1)

Enry (630) | about 15 years ago | (#1827109)

Congratulations. It's nice to see hard work pay off.

On the down side, I guess we won't be seeing SLSH on NASDAQ (rats).

HOw much? (1)

Cjoh (8885) | about 15 years ago | (#1827111)

How much did they pay ya?

Good job! (1)

skip277 (24541) | about 15 years ago | (#1827210)

As long as Slashdot stays the same (you can change, just stay the same) it makes no difference to me. It will, however, make a difference to you guys (Rob, Hemos and the rest). Make your lives better by getting paid. Make our lives better by improving Slashdot. All that being said, thanks for what you've done so far

Skippy

And good luck. (1)

invenustus (56481) | about 15 years ago | (#1827214)

Sorry for the wasted post, but I just wanna wish you good luck, and I promise not to be an asshole and accuse you of selling out. :)

Congratulations. (2)

quarkoid (26884) | about 15 years ago | (#1827218)

Well done. This is certainly good news.

Just one piece of advice from somebody who's been there. Trust the people you delegate jobs to. If you spend your time checking they've done the right thing, or correcting it if it's not done quite the way you like it, you'll lose all the time you just gained.

Keep up the good work.

Nick.

A pity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827222)

slashdot used to be a nice site ...

April Fools? (1)

digitaldaniel (24033) | about 15 years ago | (#1827227)

Umm, at first I thought this was a Segfault [segfault.org] piece.
Yikes!

A little sad. (1)

sammy baby (14909) | about 15 years ago | (#1827231)

Taco & Hemos and the rest of the Slashdot crew have done a fantastic job of keeping this site up. If y'all think that the Andover acquisition is a good thing and will lead to better content, I'm all for it.

However, I still have to say that I'm a little sad. I know that you have a guarantee of complete freedom to run the site the way you want it, but never again will Slashdot be the little basement operation we've grown to love. Americans and geeks love underdogs, and Slashdot doesn't get to wear that hat anymore.

Feh. Enough of my being maudlin. You guys have a good thing going, and now you have the resources to make it better. Run with it, my boys! Be free like little chickens!

Good news (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 15 years ago | (#1827235)

They understand what Slashdot is, and they respect that they can't change it without destroying what it is. So they are happy to guarantee (it's even in the contract!) that Hemos and I would retain full control of the site...

That's great news. I'm glad it's a contractual obligation.

I personally don't mind how Slashdot is run/owned/managed, just as long as editorial independence can be guaranteed. This contractual clause will ensure that. If this new arrangement means a faster and stabler Slashdot, I for one am all for it. Go Slashdot!

Sounds great... (1)

jaraxle (1707) | about 15 years ago | (#1827238)

Congratulations, I am glad to see that those who deserve "reimbursement" for their hard work will get what they richly deserve.
Keep up the great work guys!

jaraxle

I hope I can be the first (1)

declanm (4327) | about 15 years ago | (#1827242)

To congratulate you guys for getting a great break. I'm delighted to hear that you're retaining creative control. I've never heard of the like before.

Here's to the next few years. Keep up the good work!

dec

WoW! (0)

Simoriah (23380) | about 15 years ago | (#1827243)

FIRST POST! WOOHOO!
I'm glad to see that these guys are finally getting a break. It sounds like they've done their homework and went with a stable, neutral company. KUDOS TO SLASHDOT!
Keep up the good work. The quality and abundance of news never ceases to amaze me.

Slashdot, RH, and MS (1)

flesh99 (32039) | about 15 years ago | (#1827258)

First off let me say I think that this is a Good Thing (tm). I just can't wait for the stream of messages from people who think that all corporations are bad, I can see it now "Slashdot Is The Next MS", "I Wonder If Slashdot Will Be RedHat Only", and probably many more pieces of FUD involving anti-profit sentiments. Rob and Hemos: Keep up the fine work, I can't wait to see what /. will become with more money behind it.

Sounds good (1)

AmirS (15116) | about 15 years ago | (#1827262)

If it gives you more time to work with the content, and not have to faff around with the associated stuff of running a highly popular web site.
Just make sure that the site doesn't become any more "commercial" and I think everyone'll be happy and /. can grow properly.

Congratulations (1)

tdrury (49462) | about 15 years ago | (#1827267)


Your first hire should be a proof reader...
"and I hope I haven't offended anywone to bad."
-- just English teachers :)

Congrats guys! I hope it works out the best for you (and us).

Congratulations! (4)

bpdlr (3132) | about 15 years ago | (#1827269)


May I be the first to congratulate you guys, well done. Andover is a good company, the site is excellent, built up from a collection of Windows shareware sites and various tidbits. They now do an excellent "portal" newsletter that bundles a load of stuff together, including a Linux software bit. Also, they run the very useful Internet Traffic Report site. Their hacks are top class, and always worth a read.

I hope this means we'll see a bit more investment in bandwidth then, to get rid of those "overload mode" messages. Also, you should think about hiring some people in Europe to post stories during the morning over here - we're always waiting for you guys to wake up and start trawling through the night's postings!
--

Barry de la Rosa,
Senior Reporter, PC Week (UK)
Work: barry_delarosa[at]vnu.co.uk,
tel. +44 (0)171 316 9364

It had to happen... (3)

John Fulmer (5840) | about 15 years ago | (#1827274)

While /. will lose some of it's glory of being a fiercely idependant site and with Rob and Co having to deal with the suits (and you WILL! no matter what the contract says..), It's nice to see that /. should be on firm financial footing (maybe, what does Andover's finances look like :) and will continue into the future..

Dealing with the suits will suck, badly. I know of wot I speak....

jf

Too Bad, So Sad, could have been a tech Yahoo (4)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827278)

You should have stuck it out with funding. You could have been a tech yahoo, with the clout and funding to match.

I'm really at a loss as to why you sold this golden goose to someone else. Ten years from now /. could be a huge tech media property, and you just gave it all away. I really like this site, but I think you guys just made a horrible business decision.

Jerry Yang and David Filo had a number of opportunities to sell Yahoo in the firts six months. Andressen could have sold out of Netscape just as early. Sticking with a good idea instead of taking the easy money made them all rich.

You could have had a piece of this Rob.

Congradulations a Hundred Times (1)

SheldonYoung (25077) | about 15 years ago | (#1827280)

It's so nice a refreshing to see people get rewarded for the work they do anyway.

Rob, Hemos, you guys are great. You deserve it.

Good luck (1)

Hammer (14284) | about 15 years ago | (#1827282)

I trust that /. will continue to be a great site only faster ;-)

Re:And good luck. (1)

matguy (7927) | about 15 years ago | (#1827285)

Good to see there was no AOL involved. Now you might have some free time to do some vacationing. Maybee come up to the great Northwest, we'd love to have ya up here, hell, we've got room for ya, stay you could stay with us for a few days. Come to a Lan Party, go do the Seattle thing, lot's of neat stuff going on around here (we'd stay away from Redmond though.)

matguy
Net. Admin.

This is a good thing (1)

LLatson (24205) | about 15 years ago | (#1827287)

Congrats, Rob and Hemos.
I've been lurking on this site for a year and half
now. It's the first site I check in the morning,
and the last at night.

The fact that you have been able to make a living
out of doing what you really like doing is very
admirable. I think you guys are doing the right
thing; you picked a good company without a hidden
open source or linux agenda, and you are guaranteed
creative control. What more could people want from
you?

So congratulations, and I look forward to all the
new and improved stuff that's going to show up.
(I just wish I had thought of this concept first!)
LL

Awesome.. (1)

Lysol (11150) | about 15 years ago | (#1827300)

I know how it goes on a 'shoestring'(?) budget. My Internet company just got bought a month or so ago and it's soooooooo nice to get a real paycheck. I can now out spend all my friends ;-)
it's good they gave them creative the creative reigns. Let's see how it all holds out.
congrats!

way to go! (3)

Suydam (881) | about 15 years ago | (#1827303)

Questions
  • Does BSI just dissapear now?
  • Will you ever open-source AdFu?
  • What happens to future versions of Slashdot sources?
Either way, congratulations.

Nostalgia: I remember reading Slashdot.org when about 50% of my page views were stopped in the middle while I did a traceroute to macatawa.org [macatawa.org] to see what the heck was taking so long.

congrats (1)

fixe (28769) | about 15 years ago | (#1827308)

good work guys

So sorry... (1)

Avus (9506) | about 15 years ago | (#1827311)

Whenever a cool independent company is swallowed by some other, I hurts a little bit.
Sure, it's not quite like AOL purchasing Netscape, but still.
Slashdot would have deserved to be an independent name, but alas, there is no such thing as free bandwidth...

On the other hand, /. has never been impartial, so at least I don't have to fear they lose their (non-existant) neutrality ;-)

So, no Slashdot boycott for now...

Re:April Fools? (1)

digitaldaniel (24033) | about 15 years ago | (#1827316)

Glad to hear though that you guys have retained full rights to the site, multiple servers around the country sounds nice :-)

A fine choice--everyone will win. (1)

GianfrancoZola (6069) | about 15 years ago | (#1827318)

Kudos to you both for this online community you've created and put so much effort into. While there will inevitably be naysayers, hopefully it will be clear that the large majority of us support this move for a few reasons (there are obviously more, but I thought of these quick):

1) You guys might actually get some rest!
2) Multiple servers? I don't know much but that sounds like more bandwidth and faster page loading for us.
3) Both of you sound like you stand to benefit financially--anyone would be hard pressed to argue that you don't deserve it.
4) Some good causes will receive support.
5) Control will be kept in the hands of the guys that best know how to exercise it.

Congratulations again on a job well done.

Re:A little sad. (1)

matguy (7927) | about 15 years ago | (#1827319)

oh, I don't know, now it's the underdog making out big, that's the American Story.

matguy
Net. Admin.

Response to Questions (3)

Hemos (2) | about 15 years ago | (#1827323)

-Blockstackers:
It will still exist-everything.blockstackers.com is an example of the sites we are going to continue to do. So, we're still going to do other stuff as well.

-Ad-Fu.
E-mail vroon@blockstackers.com. You can get the tarball

-Slashdot
Is, and always will be Open Source.

Gutsy, Good Move (1)

Paradox !-) (51314) | about 15 years ago | (#1827325)

Guys,

Methinks you're doing the right thing. You appear to have got the infrastructure you need without going 'corp.' ('course, I'm one to talk, I AM a corp...)

I think the slashdot community ought to get behind this. It's only gonna help us get better service and access. IMHO, it took a lot of guts to go ahead with this. There's the potential for a lot of backlash against going in with a for-profit company. But in the end, as with everything in the tech world, it's evolve and improve or die. That's no different for slashdot. This will allow you to evolve and improve.

Keep up the excellent work.


Congratulations (1)

SissyLaLa (17392) | about 15 years ago | (#1827336)

I'm so happy to see you finally get paid for doing what you love.

As long as its in the contract.... (2)

CWarden (34437) | about 15 years ago | (#1827339)

As long as your creative control is in writing in your contract, it seems like this can only produce better things. If it wasn't in the contract, many people would be worried, and rightly so. I would guess that their contract probably gives exclusive advertising/media rights to Andover, and the ownership/control retains with Rob. Thats a beautiful thing and I commend you guys for being able to pull that off. I know firsthand the trials and expenses of running a high-traffic site. That will be a big burden taken off your shoulders.

I'm really looking forward to see what kind of improvements that can be worked out now that they will have more free time to come up with newer and better ideas for the site. Those that want to jump to conclusions probably wont even read your entire post about the details of the agreement. They will just run around the net spreading "Slashdot bought out!!!" information. Blah. Well, Kudos to you guys, and no matter what anybody says, this was a VERY VERY wise decision.

-- C. Warden
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Much Congrats (1)

TheAB (38019) | about 15 years ago | (#1827342)

I think this may propel /. further into serving the community, and i like that. I am even more happy that you two retain full control... I've had by dealings with the blue pin stripes before, and they have a tendency to take over... to take over everything!

I'm not a fan of that happening, but i have faith it wont.. I'm a faithful reader, and keep up the good work.

Good Luck (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 15 years ago | (#1827345)

Keep up the good work, it is pleasing to see you get some financial reward for all the hard work that you have put in.

Where do you go from here ? ..... :-)

Re:Response to Questions (1)

Suydam (881) | about 15 years ago | (#1827347)

Thanks!

Congrats plus a couple of warnings (2)

Kaa (21510) | about 15 years ago | (#1827350)

Rob and Hemos, congrats! I hope the whole thing works out well.I also hope you had a good lawyer write the contract -- creative control is all good and well, but Slashdot can now be killed -- the easiest way would be for, say, @Home (I know there are other big companies, too :) to buy Andover.net and then decide that Slashdot doesn't fit their editorial policy... Sure you can start another one, but the intellectual property issues are going to be problematic. Heh. Unfortunately in the world we live in, lawyers determine a lot of what happens.

Other than that, I hope that the advertising level on Slashdot isn't going to go up. I can live with one banner, but sites with banners left, right, top and bottom, not counting all those oh-so-cute buttons, cause active distaste in me, and, I suppose, in most of Slashdot's readers.

Slashdot may end up looking like the Well (and I don't know if it's a good thing or bad) which had owners' change galore, but managed to retain its core audience so far.

Still, change is good. We'll see if this change will be good as well, and in the meantime, more congrats.


Kaa

Re:A little sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827352)

Honestly, I don't think very many readers respected this site when it WAS A little basement operation.

If they would spell something wrong, there'd be 100 posts like "Learn to Spell (Rob, Hemos) you dumb (noun)s!!!!!!! Go back to school, kids".

The site just outgrew them, I dont think it will be bad thing at all. Hopefully this is will make a better slashdot.org.

Just my $0.01

Does Andover know how to run a media company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827355)

First, congrats on getting some cash, BUT

Does Andover know how to take this higher? Look at all the great web sites - they all benefitted from having great execs and business folk who could take it higher. Personally I agree with the previous poster who mentioned yahoo and netscape. They both scored great execs to lead them, instead of selling out early.

Unless Andover knows how to run a hot media property, I dare say Slashdot has maybe two or three more years in it. With the right CEO you guys could have been bigger than ZDNet in five years.

Congratulations, guys... (1)

jht (5006) | about 15 years ago | (#1827358)

You deserve to be able to take some money out of the work you and Jeff have put into the site. Congratulations. Hopefully this will mean a better, faster /., and that you two can finally get a life.

Congrats! (1)

cjkarr (23970) | about 15 years ago | (#1827360)

Hmmm, which international April Fools Day is it?

I can see where some people might think that this is "a bad thing" -- *gasp* owned by a commercial entity?!? -- but I'd like to say "Way to go!", "Good job!", etc. You guys have done much for the respective hacker/geek/nerd communities. I'm glad that you are finally getting some sort of compensation for the long hours you have put into this.

Once more, congratulations, and I hope that this kicks off a new era of enhancements to Slashdot, benefits for Malda and Co., and (most importantly) "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters."

Keep it up,

Chris

PS. I am mourning the fact that there will be no Slashdot IPO. How cool would it be to say that you own part of the coolest site on the web?

...the fine print (1)

grinder (825) | about 15 years ago | (#1827366)

So /. was acquired by somebody else. Hooray for Rob & co.

I just want to know... how does andover.net expect to make money? Banner ads? Don't make me laugh. /.ers are the audience most likely to use banner-blockers. What will happen if /. is a financial drain to andover?

What happens if Slashdot doesn't turn in a profit?

Re:Too Bad, So Sad, could have been a tech Yahoo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827368)

As far as I understood it, most of their payment is in shares in Andover, and since Rob gets a place on their board it sound like it might be a reasonably big chunk. At least that means that if Slashdot skyrocket in value, Andover will skyrocket too, and Rob and Hemos will still get a part of the action.

So, maybe they won't get as much as Yahoo, but I'm sure they're set fairly well...

It was fun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827369)

now it is business. Someone putting up a web site and then cashing in a few years later is getting old... When is it going to end? Sooner or later someone is going to wake up and realize that these sites do NOT MAKE ANY MONEY! That will be the day the Nasdaq closes down 90% and more than a few geeks finds themselves in bankruptcy. It will be the new Depression. Stop fscking with economics you don't understand and buy shit that has no value.

2 Questions (1)

detailer (13448) | about 15 years ago | (#1827372)

What's in it for them?

Will the code still be available?



David

What a pessimist! (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827373)

Slashdot needs this. I've always been amazed that a few college guys 60 miles from my hometown put together something that is a household word in computing - something like if "Wayne's World" was a real show and it became as popular as "Seinfeld" (well, not quite - maybe in a year or two).

Best wishes

Kudos, guys!! (1)

gavinhall (33) | about 15 years ago | (#1827375)

Posted by yuri-g:

Great news not only for /., but for all of its users! Can't wait to see what's in store for the future.

Glad to hear that my browser's favorite start page is getting a much-deserved boost. You guys all have worked your butts off to create one of the most unique and strongest online communities in the history of the net. Reap the benefits! (But don't wear ties!)

Re:Response to Questions (1)

matguy (7927) | about 15 years ago | (#1827377)

There's a good trend already, Hemos making the time to make a comment, hopefully he/they will have more time to do things like this more often. Love to see the ops down in the trenches.

matguy
Net. Admin.

Re:Does Andover know how to run a media company? (1)

Hemos (2) | about 15 years ago | (#1827379)

The thing is that we didn't want to. We didn't want to spend the effort to find an exec and get venture capitol. This isn't about the money-it's about wanting to do things the way we want to do them.

Re:2 Questions (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | about 15 years ago | (#1827381)

Millions of banner ads each month.

Yes. The code will still be available. I might even have some time to work on it again if I can afford to hire some help!

Re:Does Andover know how to run a media company? (1)

bliss (21836) | about 15 years ago | (#1827382)

Let me tell you what this now means. Basically this will mean that this site turns into one of those boring sites that really and truely has no appeal to me. One of the nice things I liked about this service is that individuals could post and administer the site (in this case Rob and his associates) at any time they choose. Now tell me you haven't seen the laziness from business types ala dilbert. Basically the quality will go way down because you need to have people dedicated to doing something that they really enjoy.

How is some network company going to get people motivated over a "news" site? Also with all the work they will have to do how will they continue to enjoy what they do?

Just some thoughts

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827387)

So .. people who care about /. (TM) keep an eye on what it takes to make this a success and KEEP making it a success.. buy from /. advertisers! Won't that show andover.net that they have made the right decision in keeping creative control free?

And as much as I hate to 'me-to', Way to go!! Good for you, you get some of your lives back and some $ too :) Thanks.

Doesn't Rate (1)

Hallow (2706) | about 15 years ago | (#1827389)

I find it interesting that it doesn't even
rate an entry on the andovernews.com page.

I noticed they have a cartoon of the day.
Wouldn't it be cool if they carried uf?

Kudos (1)

NateDawg (17671) | about 15 years ago | (#1827390)

I am always impressed when a couple of young guys can have the foresight to look out for the reader instead of looking out for their own pocket books. You guys could have held out until you became filthy rich but you didn't because you want to provide the best content you could and for that I am quite impressed. Thanks for giving us the best site on the internet!

Re:...the fine print (1)

Hemos (2) | about 15 years ago | (#1827392)

We've actually dealt with that area pretty well-they're committed to the site running (again, in the contract). Banner Ads will probably be the area-junkbusting doesn't occur on a huge scale-but we maintain control of look and feel, so don't look for buttons and pop-ups and such.

Re:Too Bad, So Sad, could have been a tech Yahoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827393)

Andreesen should have sold out of Netscape. Now look at him. He has an aol.com email address. heh. But he's a little putz in any case. Puffing along in his sports car. Snotty brat.

Congratulations (3)

Gleef (86) | about 15 years ago | (#1827396)

It looks like you've found a way to make sure Slashdot stays strong without sacrificing what makes it great. One important question, though. Now that you're part of Andover.net, do you have to wear pants?

Re:WoW! (1)

Skratch (39859) | about 15 years ago | (#1827398)

Dude, you must be a hella-slow typer, your "first post" is like #19. Haha.

It's good to see slashdot get supported like that. Congrats to u guys.

Re:It was fun... (1)

matguy (7927) | about 15 years ago | (#1827400)

It's only old to you because it didn't happen to you.

matguy
Net. Admin.

Wanted to offer my congrajulories (1)

xinu (64069) | about 15 years ago | (#1827401)

Congrats guys, keep up the good work!

Re:Congratulations (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | about 15 years ago | (#1827405)

Hell no.

Re:Congratulations (2)

Hemos (2) | about 15 years ago | (#1827407)

I'm not wearing any right now. :)

URL Change ? (1)

Dilbert_ (17488) | about 15 years ago | (#1827408)

Will this mean that http://www.slashdot.org [slashdot.org] is going to change to http://www.slashdot.com [slashdot.com] ?

No, seriously, congratulations, and I hope your contracts are waterproof. Just two questions :
-Will the source of /. remain open ?
-Can they fire you and take over the site ? Or did you get guarantees on paper. Sure hope you did, I'd hate to lose my favourite site.



Big companies (4)

overlord (5277) | about 15 years ago | (#1827409)

Next week andover.net will be acquired by microsoft and .......

Good luck.

OverLord.

Then congrats are in order...(from previous AC) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827412)

If you are happy with your decision than congrats.

99.9999% of the people on this planet never get to work their dream. You did, and on your terms.

If you're happy to hand it over to someone else, mnore power to you.

What happens if Andover.Net sells Slashdot? (2)

wynlyndd (5732) | about 15 years ago | (#1827413)

It could happen. I am trying not to think about it but what if a certain company (call not its name lest it will hear) drives a dumptruck full of money up to Andover.net and said, "sign here."

Wow! (2)

Fizgig (16368) | about 15 years ago | (#1827416)

I know I'm not the only one who thought that post was a joke when first reading it. Then it set in that it was serious. Then I was depressed. But then I finished reading. Great job!!!! I'm happy for you guys! Faster Slashdot loading! Hiring other people to do the crap CmdrTaco and Hemos don't want to do!!

But wasn't Andover.net the place that we completely flamed for the really wrong story about Red Hat (I didn't; don't worry!)? You guys managed to get this deal despite that?

"What happened last night can happen again. " (1)

richnut (15117) | about 15 years ago | (#1827417)

Whoa. Interesting quote for the bottomn of the page on this story...

*twilight zone music plays*

-Rich

More Questions to Rob & Jeff. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827418)

Is this right:
(it's all about ad's)

Basically anover.net paid for the square at the top of the screen. You will still control the rest of the site. Although you will not _own_ the site?

Will you be hired be andover.net to maintain the site?

Will there be more banners now?

One thing that I liked with slashdot were that the banners often were Linux related. Will this still be the same?

I run a small company and hired some ad space on slashdot once. I got a great feedback from just the "right" people. That was great. The most important factor was that the price on slashdot where resonable for small companys who just want to run a few ads. This is something that I fear will change. Could you please clarify this?

And $20+ million to boot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827420)

I'm sure that keeps him comfy at night. If you consider $20 million "losing", then I'd be a happy loser.

If slashdot is not profitable ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827422)

... then they will sell it (to ???), that's the way it works.

People are not in business because they're nice.

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827424)

Wasn't April's Fools a few months ago.

Had to happen, almost.... (1)

Patman (32745) | about 15 years ago | (#1827425)

I've been a Slashdot reader for a while, and I gotta say I could see this coming. I was thinking, and CT's summary seems to agree, that Slashdot was getting to the point where something was going to have to suffer - content, stability, bandwith, Rob's sanity.....and that Slashdot was either going to have to take a huge quality hit or get some help. The decision to be acquired was, IMHO, a step towards keeping Slashdot as much the same as it could. All Web sites must forever grow, and change, or remain stagnant and unpopular. Slashdot has had many changes over the years, and this is just one of them. CT and the rest will still be around, and if Slashdot does, by some chance, become a total piece of junk, then we'll move on. I doubt this'll happen - Slashdot's sellability is in it's readership, and a major revamping would kill the property. However, I hope there won't be posting censorship - i.e., can I now say that Andover.net sucks dirty donkey balls? I'm just curious - I only recall hearing the name in passing, and am unaware of any problems with them. Regardless, congrats guys, for making it to the big time. BTW - are you still gonna operate mainly out of GH2.0, or do you have ot move?

Re:Intellectual Property issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827432)

.. granted that we're talking horrible, worst case hypothetical (no offense to andover.net..) .. at least the engine behing /. is open source. no IP issues there!

Re:...the fine print (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827433)

I think you underestimate the desire of your readers NOT to see banners. I for one have had them blocked out for a long time. I wish you luck, but i will not be back and I am removing slashdot from my favorites :( Good luck

Re:Congrats plus a couple of warnings (1)

GhoST RiDeR (26460) | about 15 years ago | (#1827434)

but the intellectual property issues are going
to be problematic. Heh. Unfortunately in the world we live in, lawyers determine a lot of what happens.


If slashdot is GPL'ed, it shouldn't really matter who owns the copyrights in the end, does it?

Re:Congratulations (1)

matguy (7927) | about 15 years ago | (#1827435)

Does just around your ankles count?

matguy
Net. Admin.

Re:Does Andover know how to run a media company? (2)

Hemos (2) | about 15 years ago | (#1827436)

Well, the people who are coming on board are people who've been working on it for free now. The contract has the creative control for us, and we hire the people we want-now we've got bucks to deal with it. Fundamentally, there will be no change. Otherwise, we wouldn't have done this.


They've got some news folks, but we're going to be bringing in more people from the community-Rob and I are sick of working 70 hours a week as well. :)

Good and bad, huh? (1)

Protheus (22482) | about 15 years ago | (#1827437)

It's not the greatest news, getting aquired. On the other hand, if it's a choice between than and venture capital, you guys got the better deal. At least andover will be straight-out with you, and not use the covert tactics that some venture capitalists do.

As for that changing the quality of your site for the worse, I doubt that... I mean, ars-technica isn't a bad site (even with all their microsoftian talk about nt), and aren't they owned by maximum-pc or something?

Re:Congratulations (1)

Hemos (2) | about 15 years ago | (#1827439)

Um...

Um...

I don't think Rob and I own pants, much less wear.

Re:Kudos (1)

gavinhall (33) | about 15 years ago | (#1827441)

Posted by mathman100@geocities.com:

they would have to change the site's name to slashdot.com if they made a profit off from it. all the money they get has to go to some other cause, such as improving the site, donating to charity, etc. They can only take as much money out of slashdot as they put in.

Re:Does Andover know how to run a media company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827443)

Sounds like the quality can go UP because the people who care about /. (rob & co) can spend time working on CONTENT or whatever they feel like .. re read the article

>> How is some network company going to get people motivated over a "news" site?

They don't have to or get to. That's rob/jeff's job.

Re:Congratulations! (1)

_Spirit (23983) | about 15 years ago | (#1827444)

First of all congrats on this news.

I have to agree on the Europe thing though, mornings are boring without fresh slashdot material.

Message on our company Intranet:
"You have a sticker in your private area"

Dynamic Mirror Selection (3)

Izaak (31329) | about 15 years ago | (#1827452)

I like the idea of SlashDot being mirrored on both coasts. I would suggest one in Chicago as well... major midwest backbone hub. I've actually been thinking about this issue for a while and would love to see some kind of dynamic mirror selection. Something like this:

1) You connect to the primary /. server and it checks your IP address against a DB of known subnets and prefered mirrors.

2) If a match is found, you are sent there. Otherwise, the primary site serves the page and your address is added to a queue of subnets to add to the database.

3) Periodically, the mirror sites do some pings or traceroutes of the addresses in the queue to determine the *best* mirror for that address. The entire subnet for that address is then plunncked into the database.

4) The database entries should eventually age out, but it could be a loooong expire. How often do you move you a portable net block across the country?

For all I know, public software for this may already exist. If not, I think it would be a fun project to implement this for SlashDot.

Who is with me?

Thad

Re:What happens if Andover.Net sells Slashdot? (2)

Hemos (2) | about 15 years ago | (#1827453)

Our contract stays intact. Hell, they can sell to Microsoft, but they can't touch the site.

Agreed ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827454)

I have to agree, I'm sorry guys.

/. was my start page for more than 1 year now, and I must say that I _am_ quite sad.

I wish you the best luck in the biz world. And I'm leaving ...

The RMS suck-ups will love this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1827455)

This is capitalism. Somebody shoot RMS so he can start rotating in his grave.

A nice touch (1)

xmedar (55856) | about 15 years ago | (#1827456)

As I was reading the article I thinking, okay sounds good, then I got to the end bit and became all dewy eyed, its so great to see a group of people who really want to give back to the community obviously not for ego gratification but because you can really help, truely inspirational, I wish you all the best, Jeremy

Excellent! A web landmark can continue to grow. (1)

Sun Tzu (41522) | about 15 years ago | (#1827457)

Congratulations Rob. This is surely a good thing. /. has grown into one of the few truly important landmarks on the web and is deserving of the improved infrastructure that this can bring. I know you guys worked hard and long on this site and poured much of yourselves into it.

I can't imagine much better terms than these which let you retain complete control of the site. Of course, there will be detractors -- ignore them and keep going. Offload all the sales stuff, hire assistants to help with the email and stories, hire a sysadmin to run the servers, and go back to what made /. so successful in the first place.

You know what you're doing and you know what to do. Take what you have and refine and extend it. Make a better /. for all of us.

And, thanks for creating my favorite site.

Re:It was fun... (2)

Zac (3013) | about 15 years ago | (#1827459)

I can't think of any reason why sites like this couldn't make money. I have clicked on slashdot banner ads before. Certainly there are vendors who are interested in targeting slashdot's readership.

Re:...the fine print (1)

matguy (7927) | about 15 years ago | (#1827461)

I suppose you steal Cable too.

matguy
Net. Admin.

Congratulations !! (1)

grizzly (21018) | about 15 years ago | (#1827462)

Congratulations Rob, Hemos and all others who should be congratulated with this news.

Everyone trusts you Rob, as you can see from the reactions here. Just keep up the good work.

Just one thing: Did they solemnly swear that there will never, ever be any Micro$oft ads on Slashdot?

But for the grace of God go thee ... (1)

dclatfel (2737) | about 15 years ago | (#1827465)

The unknown is always really fricken' scarey,
but some of the very best things in life come out
of the unknown.

My congrats to CmdrTaco and the whole Slashdot
crew. You guys have done tremendous work, and
deserve any rewards you get!!
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